What you’ll learn
Introduction to Health Writing is your ultimate guide to credible health writing, covering key concepts such as:
- How to write about evidence and research for a consumer audience – simplifying complex content
- COVID-19 and communication – writing about health in our new COVID-19 world
- Effective formulas for writing in a variety of styles – we cover health news articles, feature articles, web copy, blogs, patient handouts, product information, ads and sales copy
- Reader engagement strategies – and how to find useful, helpful topics that your readers care about
- Word choice and language – the importance of knowing that the language you choose has profound consequences
- Health literacy – how to educate readers and encourage them to think critically
- Behaviour change – evidence-based approaches to change, as demonstrated in health communication research
- Rules, regulations and compliance – essential guidelines all health writers need to know.
1500+ students in 40+ countries have taken our courses.
Learn at your own pace, from anywhere, with unlimited access.
Accredited for quality, academic standards and professional development.
Who is this course for?
Introduction to Health Writing alumni include:
- Health professionals who are keen to polish their writing skills and learn more about industry standards
- New AND experienced writers who want to specialise in health & medical writing
- Bloggers who’d like to start a blog or website and help people live healthier lives
- Writers with young children who want to work from home
- Physicians who love to communicate about health and are exploring the idea of healthcare writing
- Scientists and academics interested in healthcare writing as a new career opportunity
- Anyone who is ready to give it a go and go pro!
Exactly what I needed
“Introduction to Health Writing is THE course for anyone who is thinking of starting off in the exciting, challenging, and rewarding field of evidence-based health writing. The course is up-to-date and very resource-rich — the ‘Recommended reading’ accompanying each lesson alone is a treasure-trove. With each lesson you come away with not only a good understanding of the forms health writing can take, but also the crucial principles that guide responsible and effective health writing. I highly recommend grabbing the premium offer, with which you get Michelle’s invaluable feedback on your written assignments. This is exactly what I needed in order to improve my writing and gain confidence when presenting my skills in the real world as an evidence-based health writer.”
Sampoorna Rappaz, Switzerland
How does this course work?
Here’s what you can expect.
- Start learning from Monday 21 March 2022
- Work through the lessons at your own pace
- Email your teacher whenever you have questions.
Personal writing feedback
- Get personalised feedback on your weekly writing tasks
- Identify your writing strengths and weaknesses
- Become a more confident, skilled writer.
Dozens of industry-leading resources to help you write engaging, empowering health content.
- 6+ hours of podcasts (audio lectures) discussing the lessons and learning objectives
- WEEKLY group video calls (new!) where we’ll get together virtually as a class
- 25 handouts full of best-practice resources
- Downloadable slides and lecture notes
- Templates and guidelines to help you plan your content
- Weekly health writing tasks to put the learnings into practice
- Personalised feedback (Premium course only)
- CPD accreditation and certificate
- Lively student-only Facebook group of 1000+ writers
- Lifetime access to course updates
- 1:1 support for every student
- Health Writer Hub Alumni membership including free webinars
- Loyalty discounts giving you 30% off every other course
- World-class eLearning platform for a seamless learning experience.
What are the benefits and opportunities after completion?
After you complete Introduction to Health Writing, you will have developed:
- Enhanced writing skills that clients and employers are looking for
- Diverse writing abilities and expertise writing in a variety of styles
- Quality writing samples to show prospective clients and employers
- Industry knowledge to help you explore career opportunities.
The perfect course
“Introduction to Health Writing is the perfect course for beginners and experienced writers to hone their skills and learn the tips and tricks pertaining to different types of health writing. I really enjoyed the diversity of the homework and could use some of my pieces for self publishing. Michelle is a wonderful teacher; her podcast lectures are explained well but are still to the point; and her email responses were kind and helpful. I enjoyed the personalized feedback on my homework tasks and feel that it has pushed me to be a better writer. (South Africa) “
Amy Louise Collyer, South Africa
Your curriculum guide.
Lesson 1: Health news
- Understanding health news articles (in our new COVID-19 world) – what is a health news article, and what’s involved in writing a health news article?
- The structure of a health news article – core components and must-haves of a health news article
- Health news dos and don’ts – how to write high-quality health news, and health news mistakes to avoid
- Finding health news, and choosing an angle – key sources of health news, the scope of health news and creating a unique angle for your news story
- Finding health experts and interviewing techniques – simple, straightforward methods to help you find relevant health experts, and the best questions to ask researchers and health experts.
Lesson 2: Health features
- What is a health feature? Understanding and structuring health feature articles
- Idea generation – creating and workshopping original, compelling health feature article ideas
- Requirements gathering and researching – how to conduct research for your article thoroughly and effectively, and ensuring your idea meets the key requirements of the brief
- 10 common mistakes in health features and my top 10 feature must-haves – how to spot and avoid common errors, plus 10 techniques to lift your health features out of the ordinary
- Tone and pitching advice – nailing the article tone and pitching your feature – plus, my chat with a former Features Editor of Prevention Magazine in which she shares her winning pitching tips.
Michelle’s mentoring was outstanding
“The Introduction to Health Writing course was lucid and comprehensive. Michelle’s mentoring was outstanding. She painstakingly read my assignments and gave me comprehensive feedback like a true Teacher. She answered every question of mine — every time. I was impressed with her commitment to her students. Her guidance has helped me publish one article in January 2021 and get the second accepted for publication. If I’ll be publishing in health magazines, it will be entirely because of her, because of her encouragement to me. I’m an old person and she allowed me to complete the course at my pace. She was extremely patient with me. I’m grateful to her.”
Viney Kirpal, India
Lesson 3: Engaging health writing for the web
- Readability – essential best practices of high-quality web writing
- Headlines, intros and subheadings – writing clickable yet accurate health headlines, and how to use subheadings to guide your online content
- Engagement strategies and accuracy in a digital world – writing engaging digital content while maintaining quality and accuracy
- Defining your ideal reader – questions to help you identify your ideal reader, and techniques to help you write for your ideal reader
- Creating shareable health content – techniques for getting your content read and recommended.
Lesson 4: Health blogging
- Health blogging essentials – understanding and defining modern health blogs
- Not-so-secret blogging secrets – what successful bloggers have in common
- How to write an engaging health blog post – a step-by-step guide
- Storytelling, opinion and honesty in blogging – how to use personal stories in your blogging and knowing how much of yourself to give
- Health blogging strategy – the importance of strategy in blogging success.
I look forward to applying what I’ve learned in my future projects
“I’ve just completed Introduction to Health Writing and I’m happy to say that I enjoyed the course. All lessons were easy to follow, and I especially appreciate that you use real writing examples from different media to explain your points. Also, the recommended reading section is amazing! I look forward to applying what I’ve learned in my future projects.”
Dragana Bundalo, Serbia
Lesson 5: Health copywriting
- What is health copywriting? Understanding and defining different forms of health copywriting
- Features, benefits and power words – differentiate between features and benefits, and discover the most effective, accurate power words that convert your readers
- Establishing consumer trust – how to write credible and accurate health content that builds trust instantly
- SEO basics – introductory SEO writing tips and keyword research
- The power and psychology of (accurate) persuasion – learn how to persuade readers to take action without misleading them.
Lesson 6: Credibility, accuracy & writing well
- The importance of credibility – why credibility must be an essential focus for every health writer
- Guidelines and regulations – how to write compliant copy, and understanding and working within strict regulatory environments
- How to check the accuracy of your work – tips to ensure your work is accurate, socially responsible and reliable
- Academic references and attributing quotes – consumer referencing techniques, and how to cite quotes from interviews, health organisations and peak bodies
- Health writing best practices, and techniques to make you a stronger writer – general tips to empower you to write high-quality health content, now and in future.
I feel much more confident to write without using my usual scientific jargon
“I would definitely recommend this course to anyone who is interested in consumer health writing. I really enjoyed the weekly writing assignments. Together with Michelle’s spot-on suggestions, they taught me how to accurately write in the different styles of consumer health writing. I feel much more confident now to write for a general audience without using my usual scientific jargon. Thank you, Michelle!”
Wendy van Zuijlen, Australia
Two extra lessons
Lesson 7: Simplifying complex content
- Why simplify? The impact of poor communication, and the benefits of clear communication
- What exactly is ‘clear, simple writing’? The core differences between academic and simple writing and examples of simple science writing in practice
- Cutting out jargon – identifying jargon and techniques to break down jargon.
Lesson 8: Inspiring behaviour change
- Empowering your readers – what is empowerment, why you should empower your readers, and strategies and techniques to inspire your readers
- What is storytelling? Non-fiction storytelling techniques and top science storytellers
- Understanding metaphors, similes and analogies – when and how to use them, and cautions
- Inspiring behaviour change – the power of positivity, and how to convince and convert.
10+ hours of online learning.
- 14 webinars – webinar topics include quoting for jobs, finding clients, CV writing, finding employed work, website essentials, subcontracting, marketing and more!
- COVID-19 communication resources - stay updated with the latest health communication best practices
- Plain English fundamentals (new!) - ensure your writing captures the essential readability techniques all health writers need to know
Join a supportive group of like-minded health writers
When you join Introduction to Health Writing, you become a member of the Health Writer Hub Alumni – a smart, diverse and friendly community of 1000+ health writers from around the world. Alumni benefits include:
- Loyalty discounts – 30% off any other Health Writer Hub course
- Writing challenges – goals to keep you motivated and accountable
- Global networking – connect with health writers from around the world
- A supportive group of health writers – ask questions, and share advice
- Immediate access – join the group as soon as you sign up.
Certified and accredited
Accredited for quality and standards.
Introduction to Health Writing is an approved Continuing Professional Development (CPD) course, independently accredited with the CPD Certification Service – one of the world’s leading independent CPD accreditation institutions.
As a CPD-accredited course, Introduction to Health Writing meets the required standard of CPD at a global level. The course’s learning value and structure conform to global CPD guidelines and principles, complementing the CPD policies of professional institutes and academic bodies.
Feedback and alumni success.
Kylie Saunder is an Australian freelance writer who took Introduction to Health Writing because she was looking to increase her profile as a health writer. She also wanted to expand on the must-have skills to be successful in the field.
Kylie says: “The course set out clear path to take from digesting complicated content to writing clear, simple content. The big emphasis on AHPRA (in Australia), ethics and diligence in writing the best quality information I can made this course for me! Since taking Introduction to Health Writing, I have pitched myself more confidently to large medical and health businesses and have picked up regular work, including patient handout work and website work with a large provider.”
Hafsa Abdirahman took Introduction to Health Writing because she, like many students, was looking to transition into a new field that incorporated her healthcare and writing skills. Hafsa had heard of health writing but didn’t know the specifics of it or anyone in the field – and she admits that she wasn’t sure she was cut out for it.
Hafsa says: “I greatly benefited from Michelle’s expertise and her critic of my writing. I also learned a lot from the course and what a future in the field would entail. I was able to put the lessons in practice and tailor my writing to a general audience better. I also have a more specific business plan and know the steps I need to take next. My website and blog have come a long way and I have Michelle’s advice to take for that. She has responded to every single one of my emails with thoughtful responses that made me really think about what I want. I’m so grateful for her input."
Who I am, and why I want to help you succeed.
Hi – I’m Michelle Guillemard, creator of Health Writer Hub (you can read more about Health Writer Hub and me here).
When I launched Health Writer Hub in 2014, my aim was to create a best-practice resource to empower health writers to develop their skills, grow their careers and improve the quality of health content on the web.
As a health writer, you’re a public health advocate. Your words have the power to inspire positive action in your readers. Your content can help people improve their health literacy skills – so they can make informed choices about their health.
Through Introduction to Health Writing, I teach you how to produce clear, engaging, convincing and trustworthy content. During this course, you’ll learn how to promote adherence, foster knowledge growth, encourage behaviour change and, ultimately, help create better health outcomes.
If you’re driven to improve the standard of your work and make a real difference, then Introduction to Health Writing is the course for you.
My teaching method
I teach this course, and all my courses, through a combination of audio lectures (podcast style) and text resources. I also offer a range of video content, including bonus webinars and regular student interviews.
After experimenting with different combinations over the years and listening to student feedback, I am confident that delivering lectures in both audio AND text format is the most effective way for you to learn health writing in an online class environment.
While it’s up to you how you consume the content, you are welcome to:
- listen and read the transcripts at the same time
- listen and take your own notes
- listen away from your computer
- read the transcripts only.
Many students have told me that they like to listen to the lectures while driving, walking, hiking, running or cleaning the house – and, that’s fine as well!
The course is excellent and I highly recommend it
"This has been a great course for me as a beginner in health writing. The coursework is engaging and provides a variety of tasks. Even with no face-to-face interaction, Michelle’s warm nature is evident, and her genuine and individualised feedback has been of great value. This course is excellent and I highly recommend it to anyone wanting to get into consumer health writing."
Devika Krishnamurthy, Australia
Frequently asked questions
What you need to know.
What past students have said about Introduction to Health Writing.
Michelle was really responsive, patient, and committed to her teaching
"I started the Introduction to Health Writing course to improve my writing in the health field. However, this course did more than that. It opened my narrow perspective and showed me different styles/ways I can write about health. The course allowed me to try different health writing styles, and now, I am more certain about which one I am keener on pursuing as a professional writer. Besides, Michelle was really responsive, patient, and committed to her teaching. The material is of very high quality, with very clear objectives for each lesson."
Ana Ramos, Vienna
"Introduction to Health Writing was a big gamechanger for me. I had little knowledge about the structure of different article types and how to conjure compelling ideas for publication. I was also too intimidated to write. Michelle changed that by being very supportive and offering positive feedback and constructive criticism. But the best thing I liked about the course was how much Michelle focused on the responsibility that comes with health writing and your power to influence others. Stressing that fact makes you think twice before writing anything that can affect someone's health and make sure you get your facts right. All in all, a lovely course and I highly recommend it to anyone willing to pursue a career in health writing."
Dr Marwa Saleh, Egypt
The most comprehensive courses I have found online
"These (Introduction to Health Writing & Breaking Into Health Writing) were two of the most comprehensive courses I have found online. Usually trainers give very basic information in a course and do not get in touch after the course. Michelle is always ready to help and answer our queries."
Samreen Salim, Pakistan
I have so much more confidence in my ability to create evidence-based health content
"Since doing the Introduction to Health Writing course, I have so much more confidence in my ability to create evidence-based health content - and to use writing as a platform for building trust and supporting behaviour change within my client group. I also enjoy knowing that I now have more technical knowledge and skill to adapt my writing style as needed."
Jo Olsson, Australia
Can't imagine succeeding without Michelle's help.
“I’m REALLY glad I took the Introduction to Health Writing Class. It got me thinking, writing and has boosted my self-confidence. I knew before I took the class that I could do health and medical writing. But, now I feel like I’ve got more experience doing it. Michelle gave me considerate, helpful feedback that pushed me to do better. As a mentor, she is always supportive and encouraging. I can’t imagine succeeding as a medical writer without her help.”
Phyllis Edson, USA
Enjoyed the entire learning process.
"I had no clue what health writing really was until I took Introduction to Health Writing. I wasn't really sure I'd make a career out of it, either. I ended up enjoying the entire learning process. Conveniently-paced, super informative, adequately challenging, and detailed, the modules contained in the Introduction to Health Writing course were carefully crafted for just about anyone looking to know about health writing. I am now working on my own healthcare articles to begin my journey as a health writer."
Dara Ibukunoluwa, Nigeria
You could feel that Michelle was giving a one-on-one lesson because of her conversational tone.
"Even though Introduction to Health Writing is an online course, you could feel that Michelle was giving a one-on-one lesson because of her conversational tone in her weekly podcasts. I really enjoyed the recommended reading she suggests each week and I suggest anyone taking this course to spend a good amount of time doing this reading. What made me want to sign up was mainly the personalised feedback that Michelle gives for each week's writing task. I've had mentors at work that would critique my pieces of writing, but it's always good to have another set of third-party eyes to provide feedback on your overall writing. I mostly enjoyed the introduction to SEO writing, because these days you want your work to get discovered, read and shared. Thanks Michelle."
Henry Chung, Australia
I highly recommend the course.
"I highly recommend Michelle's Introduction to Health Writing course if you are thinking about writing high-quality health content. It is well organized, and you get personalized feedback that makes you a better health writer."
Sze Huei, Switzerland| SciHealth News
My consumer health writing skills improved over the six weeks.
"Every week Michelle delivered a lesson full of useful information with plenty examples to learn from. The assignments were fun, and her feedback was valuable and thoughtful. It was easy to apply her assessments, and I feel my consumer health writing skills improved over the six weeks of class."
Kari Johnson, USA
A solid foundation upon which I can begin to build my health writing career.
"Introduction to Health Writing provided me with a solid foundation upon which I can begin to build my health writing career. Michelle is a fantastic teacher who made herself available throughout the entire 6 weeks and beyond, and she provided extremely valuable and personalized feedback on each assignment. In a world where anyone can have a 'voice' online, I appreciated that Michelle focused on the importance of being a trustworthy source of health information for one's readers. Upon completion of this course I have a new respect for health writers and all they must consider when producing content."
Jacqueline Forrester, Canada
If you want to learn about health writing, you cannot go wrong by taking this course.
“Working with the instructor Michelle on Introduction to Health Writing was a joy for me. The feedback on the submitted assignments alone was worth the cost of taking the course. Michelle is professional, experienced, hardworking and helpful. If you want to learn about health writing you cannot go wrong by taking this course.”
Steve Roberts, USA
I am considering taking the Introduction to Health Writing course again to continue to develop my skills!
"Michelle introduced me to the world of health writing and its intricacies in such a well thought out and comprehensive way. I am even more excited about the field now. Her thorough and thoughtful feedback on writing pieces was invaluable. Her breadth of experience so clearly conveyed. It was a great opportunity to have direct feedback from someone with her extensive knowledge. I am considering taking the Introduction to Health Writing course again to continue to develop my skills!"
Kimberly Kehoe Brown, USA
I have recommended the course to other colleagues!
"I took the course to expand my knowledge about different types of medical writing. The material was extremely worthwhile and I enjoyed the podcasts and checklists designed by Michelle. I have recommended the course to other colleagues too!"
Charity Hix, USA
The course is fantastic and Michelle's knowledge and experience is invaluable.
"I really enjoyed the Introduction to Health Writing course and I learned a lot, especially about the blogging – this task has really helped to challenge my weaknesses. I loved the way the course is so clearly structured and the handouts are easy to refer back to again and again. The templates are great and I'd be at a loss as to where to start without them, thank you so much. The links to other blogs are really helpful, as are the pointers to what one shouldn't do. The course is fantastic and Michelle's knowledge and experience is invaluable to helping people like me start the foray into health writing."
Lisa Wong, UK
Gives you the confidence to write accurate yet entertaining health copy.
“The Introduction to Health Writing course is a great overview of different styles of writing – for any genre. Michelle also clearly outlines the specific considerations that are specific to health writing and gives you the confidence to write accurate yet entertaining health copy. Her feedback on writing exercises is detailed and really pinpoints areas to improve – I already can hear her voice every time I’m writing a health piece. I highly recommend this course for anyone wanting to do more consumer health writing.”
Angela Denly, Australia
Encouraging and thoughtful feedback on every assignment.
“Have you, like I, considered to be a health writer? Then sign up for Michelle’s course. I promise that you will not be disappointed. This course is well organised and Michelle gives you encouraging and thoughtful feedback on every assignment!”
Angelica Kjellström, Sweden
Loved the way it is structured.
"Thanks Michelle, the Introduction to Health Writing course was great! I loved the way it was structured - with each lesson involving reading and listening to the materials, completing the relevant task and then getting your invaluable feedback. I've learnt a lot about what's involved in health writing and have built the skills and confidence to get me started."
Janis Harse, Australia
A great mix of podcasts, course notes, further reading and a group forum.
"Michelle and Health Writer Hub fully met my expectations in learning about health material for the consumer audience. A great mix of podcasts, course notes, further reading and a group forum - but also supported by useful templates that you can take into your daily activities. I would - and have already - recommended Michelle's course and website to a few people."
Erin Gentry, New Zealand
Definitely a must-do course.
“The Introduction to Health Writing course was engaging and way more than I expected. It seemed even more than an introduction because so many different forms of health writing were covered. The course material is engaging, thought provoking and straight forward. Michelle’s feedback is honest and clear. Definitely a must do course for anyone wishing to do health writing or having to do it.”
Michelle Thompson, Australia
Everything I was looking for.
"Introduction to Health Writing was everything I was looking for. It gave me an understanding of the different types of consumer health writing, and a better understanding of the ethics and responsibilities involved. I feel much more confident in my ability to understand and accurately convey health information now and can't wait to put it to use as a freelance writer."
Jacqui Hawkins, UK
I really enjoyed the class.
"I really enjoyed the Introduction to Health Writing class. Michelle's feedback was very helpful and was my favorite component of the class. I now have a more clear and realistic view on the various types of health writing, my strengths, weaknesses, and what/how I can further improve my writing."
Michelle Hyman, USA
Expanded my areas of focus.
"I took this course to understand the context of health writing. As a public health practitioner, I knew the ropes ... but wasn't able to communicate especially to public and other cadres of health workers. The course helped expand my area of focus from working on technical documents to blogging."
Naawa Sipilanyambe, Australia
Excellent and enjoyable.
"I've been a GP for many years. Recently I've been thinking about a change of scenery. I discovered I enjoyed writing after starting a blog about a hobby/passion. So, I decided to research the topic of learning medical writing. That's how I came across your course and it seemed to be what I was looking for. I signed up. I'm glad I did. This was an excellent, enjoyable course with lots of great material. The feedback on assignments helped me enormously."
Mandy MacIver, USA
I learned a lot.
"Thank you for this course. I learnt a lot about consumer writing. The difference in consumer writing and writing for professionals is vast, and the course helped me bridge that gap quite a lot."
Soumya Gupta, Australia
“I highly recommend the Introduction to Health Writing course for anyone starting out in this field or wanting a refresher. Michelle provides valuable guidance and resources on a variety of different styles of health writing. I particularly admired her emphasis on the importance of accurate, engaging and ethical content. As a beginner in the field I found the course challenging but Michelle’s personalised feedback was always constructive, supportive and encouraging and really helped give me more self-confidence about writing.”
Donna Armstrong, UK
Really useful for anyone wishing to explore a new career in health writing.
“This course is really useful for anyone wishing to explore a new career in health writing. It provides an essential guide on how to structure the various facets of health writing. Doing this short course will save hours of researching information yourself.”
Sally Sawkill, UK
The course structure is perfect.
“Michelle, your Introduction to Health Writing course is a comprehensive, informative, practical and interesting course to complete. I thoroughly enjoyed the weekly lessons and assignments. The course structure is perfect: a podcast and additional reading followed by an assignment based on the type of writing studied. The templates are an invaluable resource also provided. Overall, I would highly recommend your course.”
Jacqueline Tatham, USA